Warning: Video contains graphic language.
On September 25, a California Highway Patrol officer responded to multiple calls reporting illegal street racing and a large crowd blocking traffic in downtown Fresno. When the officer got to the scene, he attempted a traffic stop on one of the reckless drivers. That’s when things took a disturbing turn.
According to The Washington Post, as the CHP officer approached the vehicle, individuals in the crowd yelled out, telling the man in the car to drive away. The CHP officer subsequently got back in his car. Before he could give chase, the crowd around him became violent, pushing, and kicking his SUV.
A short video of the incident was posted on YouTube:
In the video, a man can be heard shouting “F*** the police, n*****! We run the streets, motherf***er! You hear me? Fresno, n*****!”
Fortunately, the CHP officer was unharmed. According to Capt. Craig Kunzler, despite the traumatic nature of the event, the officer “is doing fine, and he is back to work, and he is okay.”
KFSN, a Fresno ABC affiliate, reports that three suspects, Federico Gonzalez, Gabriel DeAnda, and Milton Rodriguez, have been identified, arrested, and face charges of felony vandalism and inciting a riot:
“One of the suspects was identified after his fingerprint was lifted off the car and another told officers during an interview he attacked the vehicle to get back at the CHP.”
Six more suspects are being sought, including 19-year-old Guadalupe Gonzales. All told, the mob caused approximately $12,000 in damage to the CHP vehicle.
This could be an isolated event, or it could be a result of the rise in anti-law enforcement sentiment sweeping all across the country. In the last 60 days alone, riots have erupted in two major American cities. The riots came in response to several high-profile police shootings. Two shootings involved black cops shooting armed, non-compliant black men. The third shooting involved an unarmed, but allegedly non-compliant black suspect. The officer in that case, Betty Shelby, has been charged with first-degree manslaughter—though her attorney entered a “not guilty” plea Friday.
As a result of anti-law enforcement aggression, many police departments have pulled back, leading to several major cities seeing a dramatic spike in crime. ABC News reports that “Chicago is on pace for its highest overall murder count since at least 2008, when 513 were recorded in the entire year.”
The Manhattan Institute’s Heather Mac Donald explained to Independent Journal Review:
“Pedestrian stops are down about 90% in Chicago. As the police union head told me last month, cops are just not ‘clearing the corners’ anymore. Out of those groups of youth hanging out, loitering, often emerges drive-by shootings and other forms of gang violence.”
As organizations like Black Lives Matter continue to embolden this kind of unrestrained, aggressive behavior against law enforcement, we continue to see it increase in frequency. Such high-profile hostility has the capacity to metastasize, possibly leading to events occurring outside the scope of post-police shooting riots.
The incident in Fresno may just be the beginning.